Grace came to America to escape Ireland and try to have a better life. She had to get over her fear of policemen and allow them to help her after finding herself in the middle of the mob when she accidently took pictures of them when trying to find the "perfect shot" with her new camera.
The book was good, it had more history then romance.
To be totally honest, I had mixed feelings about Grace's Pictures by Cindy Thomson while I read it, and I'm still having difficulty deciding what I feel nowÃ¢â¬âeven as I write this review.
Initially, I thought I would absolutely love the book. The descriptions of Grace's initial experiences in AmericaÃ¢â¬âNew York City, Ellis Island, the immigration process, and trying to find her "place" in this new countryÃ¢â¬âwere incredible. It felt so realistic to me. The story moved quickly at first, as Grace finds a place to live, is introduced to other immigrants, and is given a job as a nanny.
However, partway into the book, the story began to drag, and my interest wavered. Part of my struggle was that the two main characters (Grace and Owen) had little interaction with each other. That went on for so long that there eventual "relationship" seemed a bit forced to me. Additionally, the mobster story that took center stage for much of the book was just odd and extremely confusing to me at times.
Finally, Grace constantly repeated a saying that her mother told her as a child: "You are smart. You are important. You are able." Ring any bells? It's VERY close to the line that is repeated through the 2009 best seller The Help: "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." It was a little too close, in my opinion.
While not my favorite, this book does present a very well-rounded story. You get to see Grace and Owen's lives as a 360 picture, rather than merely one- or two-dimensional. Their home life, work life, family, friends, and past all play important parts of their story, which was nice to see. [3.5 stars]
I received a temporary e-copy copy of this book from Tyndale House via Net Galley in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Although her mother had always told her she was smart and capable, Grace Caffery believed she was stupid, incapable, and weak. Grace also thought all police were crooks like the ones in Ireland. Her false assumptions were challenged again and again as she took a nanny position with a wealthy family and met a very likeable policeman. Her stepfather had made it possible for her to leave the Irish workhouse and travel to America where she had her picture taken with a Brownie camera. She was met by a church lady who introduced her to the policeman on the trolley they were riding to reach her new residence where she would live and work. Thus Owen met Grace the day she arrived. Why did Grace ignore Owen? What object fascinated her so much she purchased one? How did that play a crucial role in the story? What job did the church lady find for Grace? What was a major problem in the home where she worked? What tragedy occurred? What problems did Owen face? How did Owen resolve those problems? Who came to visit Grace? What new perspective did she gain as a result of this visit? What happened to Grace and the children? Why did this happen? What gave Owen the clue to solve the problem? This was a fascinating story with mystery surrounding the main characters that they had to solve.
Grace's Pictures is a charming read that takes place on Ellis Island during the early 1900s. Admittedly, it took me a few chapters to really get into the story but when I did, I had to know what was going to happen. Grace is an Irish lass who has quite a lot of trust issues and who seems very lost in New York. She is a very timid person, and I am quite the opposite so her personality and past aren't exactly something I can relate to. Still, her character is sweet and she changes by the end of the book. A plus for me was learning a bit about early photography and the Kodak Brownie camera. History stuff makes me happy.
If you're looking for an easy, cozy read this summer, I think you'll like this one.
Grace's Pictures is a story about overcoming the traumas of the past and trusting God for one's future. Grace, a young Irish immigrant, comes to America through the sponsorship of her stepfather. Grace comes under the protection of a Christian society that aids immigrant girls by providing safe shelter, decent employment, and assisting them with making their way in America. Shortly, after arriving in America, Grace begins working as a nanny for the Parker family that is not as happy as they seem to outsiders. Also, Grace has an artistic flair and an interest in learning photography. When she sees an advertisement for the Brownie camera for $1.00, Grace buys it in hopes of mastering photography one day. However, her camera gets the attention of a group of gangsters that are being hunted by the police. One policeman, in particular named Owen, is really set on capturing the leader of the gang and he befriends Grace. At first, Grace wants nothing to do with Owen because of her mistrust of policemen stemming from a childhood trauma, but when Owen proves himself as a good man and officer, friendship blossoms between the two. However, during an outing with the Parker children to the aquarium, Grace gets the attention of the gangsters after taking a picture of the children and the children are kidnapped. After the children are kidnapped, Grace must rely on Owen to rescue them and take down a powerful gangster group. During this trying time, Grace also must put her trust in God to bring the children and Owen back safely. This was the first book I have read by Cindy Thomson and I found myself glued from page 1 to the last page. I think the author did a great job telling this story because she really captures the feelings that many immigrants must have felt and how hard it must have been for them to leave everything they knew to come to America to make a new life for themselves. I also liked how she put an emphasis on relying on God through the hard times and trusting in Him no matter the outcome.